- Virtual Summer School: Fun and Educational Websites for Kids
Virtual Summer School: Fun and Educational Websites for Kids
Don't let your kids' brains melt this July. Here are some of the best websites for education and games during those hot summer months.
<ul><li> 1. VIRTUAL SUMMER SCHOOL Fun and Educational Websites for Kids CREATED BY For the Future of Education </li> <li> 2. Don't let July melt away your child's attention span and vocabulary. Its easy for children to lose their critical learning skills during the hot summer months. Without school to provide focused exercises and games, kids can get tired and even frustrated when left to their own devices. Here are some useful and innovative websites devoted to keeping those learning skills fine-tuned while providing fun games and activities! BrainPop www.brainpop.com FOCUS: VIDEO An educational video website on a variety of interesting topic from science to music to art. Colorful cartoon characters lead children through lessons on 60s folk music, Shakespeare and even aliens. There are about 20 rotating videos under the free section of the website. Family subscriptions cost $99/year and allow 24 hour access to these educational films. Schools can subscribe their entire student population for around $1000/year with access during school hours. BelieveKids.com 2 </li> <li> 3. FOCUS: DIGITAL ART Kerpoof www.kerpoof.com Kerpoof is Disneys free website that allows children to create their own animated activities and digital art. On this website, children can easily create their own storybook, movie, or drawing using templates on the Kerpoof website. All of the games are designed for kids to use their creativity to create their own world. Drawings can be saved, printed and emailed from the Kerpoof website. All Kerpoof accounts are free, but if you purchase a membership you can create groups with friends to share your creations and chat in a safe environment. Free Rice www.freerice.com Learning for a good cause! Free Rice is a free multiple-choice trivia game on different topics ranging from art to geography. Depending on how many questions you answer correctly, the program automatically advances you to the next level of expertise. Run by the United Nations World Food Program, for each question answered correctly they donate 10 grains of rice. A great online exercise for all ages and grade levels. FOCUS: TRIVIA BelieveKids.com 3 </li> <li> 4. FOCUS: READING National Geographic Young Explorers www.nationalgeographic.com/ngyoungexplorer An online version of the print magazine, the National Geographic Young Explorers website is intended to teach Kindergarteners and First Graders reading and listening skills while introducing them to basic science principles. National Geographic puts a select number of issues on this website for free viewing. Each issue is full-color and accompanied by audio tracks that assist the child with reading the text. In addition, the National Geographic Kids (http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/) and Little Kids (http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/littlekids/) websites are also a great resource for more stories, craft ideas, videos, games and even advice for parents. BelieveKids.com 4 </li> <li> 5. FOCUS: SPELLING Spelling City www.spellingcity.com Spelling City is a free website for spelling and writing exercises. One activity can use your own list of spelling words in games and quizzes. You can type in words from a school vocabulary list or use one of the website's lists. Some exercises use audio to assist the learning process and other are written activities that can be printed out. You can even print handwriting worksheets directly from this website. FOCUS: READING Starfall www.starfall.com/n/holiday/hundredthday/play.htm?f Starfall provides free online learning activities in celebration of the 100th day of school. Games practice reading and spelling skills for young children. Each of the exercises is a colorfully animated story with large text for easy reading. With large icons and simple instructions, this website is a good starting point for teaching kids how to use a computer and the internet. BelieveKids.com 5 </li> <li> 6. FOCUS: DIGITAL ART Crayola Coloring Application www.crayola.com/coloring_application An online coloring application that takes the mess out of art. Children can choose from Crayolas products of markers, pens, and pencils to create a colorful image that can be printed or shared online. In addition to being an easy and clean alternative for craft time, using online programs like this application can teach children how to use the computer keyboard and mouse with more accuracy. PTA Summer of Learning Toolkit www.pta.org/4214.asp The PTA has conveniently organized a day-by-day calendar of events for summer activities to enrich learning skills. Daily activities range from listening to classical music to practicing handwriting. Every Friday the program provides a downloadable activity for printed instructions and activities. This is an extremely good resource to involve parents with extracurricular learning and to instill healthy skills for children at an early age. FOCUS: ACTIVITIES WITH PARENTS BelieveKids.com 6 </li> <li> 7. HINT: Put computers in locations where you can monitor online activitiy such as a family room or kitchen. Final Words of Advice Dont forget to talk to your kids about safety on the web. Remind your kids to stay on the websites you have selected for them, and never give out personal information if they are ever contacted directly. You can bookmark safe websites for them using your web browser or Delicious, and set filters on your browser to ensure that only age appropriate content is searchable. The Federal Bureau of Investigation provides some great advice for parents in regard to internet safety on their website (http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm). Set boundaries for how your children use the internet, and it can prove to be a useful and exciting learning tool. Set rules for the amount of time kids spend online. Finally, while these resources are a great way to spend time, it's important to regulate the amount of time your child spends sitting at the computer. It is not physically healthy for a child to spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children spend no more than one to two hours per day on screen media (i.e. television, computer and video games). Make sure kids go outside and get a good amount of physical exercise every day. Don't forget about the valuable community resources available in your neighborhood, such as library summer reading programs and day camps. BelieveKids.com 7 </li> <li> 8. ABOUT BELIEVE KIDS FUNDRAISING Believe Kids is not your average fundraising company. Regardless of whether you use us or another company, we will provide any information we can to help you succeed. Please get in touch with us if we can answer any question, big or small. Phone: 1-877-7-BELIEVE (1.877.723.5438) Colorado: (303) 200-1290 Email: Home@BelieveKids.com Website: www.BelieveKids.com </li> </ul>